Map: Vaccine Deserts of Metro Detroit 2021

A recent journal article puts some analysis behind my observation in March 2021 that vaccine distribution sites were not equitably chosen or distributed to best serve Detroiters. I observed that vaccine sites reflected the historical and ongoing “retail redlining” where corporate retailers avoid predominantly Black neighborhoods and cities. (See also historical blue-lining)

The authors write:

[…] we find notable racial disparities in the organization of vaccine distribution in both locations. We find census tracts with a higher proportion of Black residents were served by noticeably fewer vaccine distribution sites compared to nearby tracts with fewer black residents in both Detroit (38% less, Fig. 4a) and Chicago (28% less, Fig. 4b).

This inequity was not a new phenomena, but one that was seen repeated in four Texas counties and early vaccine tracking in Chicago.

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